Cresco Labs’ 'Summer of Social Justice' Initiative Raised Over $250,000 and Supported the Expungement Process for Over 1,000 People With Cannabis-Related Criminal Records


2021-10-26 00:49:00 Business Times


CHICAGO----PRESS RELEASE--Cresco Labs, a vertically integrated multistate operator and wholesaler of branded cannabis products, announced today its “Summer of Social Justice” nationwide initiative raised over $250,000 for social justice-focused community organizations and supported the expungement process for over 1,000 individuals with cannabis-related criminal records. In June, a trailer was released for “The Sentence of Michael Thompson,” a documentary short film part of Cresco Labs’ “Summer of Social Justice” initiative. The film will be released in 2022. The “Summer of Social Justice” initiative that launched on June 19th—the 50th anniversary of the War on Drugs—was supported by Cresco Labs, its Sunnyside retail brand and its flagship cannabis brand, Cresco. The initiative encompassed the support of community expungement events and Know Your Rights workshops, a documentary short film on the War on Drugs’ impact on the sentencing of Michael Thompson and financial contributions from the company and its third-party vendors. The initiative also helped amplify the ongoing restorative justice, community business incubator and education and workforce development programming facilitated by Cresco Labs’ SEED (Social Equity & Educational Development) initiative. “Through our ‘Summer of Social Justice’ initiative, we affirm our commitment to social equity as a company core value,” said Charlie Bachtell, CEO of Cresco Labs. “As the United States moves to decriminalize cannabis and the industry continues to grow, it is critical that businesses use their platforms and resources to help restore communities and create opportunities for the BIPOC people and their families impacted by the War on Drugs. We appreciate the passion of our partners, customers and employees who lent their voices, time, expertise and money to efforts that are building and uplifting the communities we operate in. Cresco Labs is committed to continuing initiatives like the ‘Summer of Social Justice’ that will help the cannabis industry to continue to develop into a responsible and respectable one.” Chima Enyia, Cresco Labs’ Executive Vice President of SEED, added, “It was a privilege to lead a nationwide expungement initiative that supported the restoration of rights and agency for over one thousand people and collaborate with every business unit across the organization to deploy meaningful programming that raised broad awareness of social equity and engaged our customers and partners to act. There are still over 40,000 people imprisoned with cannabis charges across the country, and for these people, their families and their communities the War on Drugs continues. As our inaugural ‘Summer of Social Justice’ initiative ends, we’ll continue demonstrating our commitment and responsibility to historically marginalized people, businesses and communities, as well as encouraging our peers and customers to continue supporting social justice-focused community organizations.” 'Summer of Social Justice' Initiative Highlights San Bernardino County's "Operation Hammer Strike" struck again, with law enforcement seizing over 60,000 illicit cannabis plants in weeks seven and eight of the investigation. In week seven from Oct. 11-17, the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department (SBSD) Marijuana Enforcement Team (MET) and other deputies served 23 search warrants for various locations across nine cities in San Bernardino County, after receiving "numerous complaints" about illegal outdoor and indoor cannabis cultivations within these areas, according to a press release from SBSD headquarters. Sheriff's personnel arrested 15 suspects and eradicated 159 greenhouses, one THC extraction lab and three electrical bypasses, the release states. Investigators also seized "20,031 marijuana plants, 3,596 pounds of processed marijuana, three guns, 8 grams of concentrated marijuana and 8.9 grams of methamphetamine." Twenty-three search warrants were issued in week eight of the operation, which took place Oct. 18-24, according to a press release from SBSD headquarters. Law enforcement personnel arrested 38 suspects and liquidated 160 greenhouses and six indoor grow facilities throughout the locations. According to the release, investigators also found over 40,000 illicit cannabis plants, more than 5,000 pounds of processed cannabis, nearly $120,000 in cash and seven guns. The multiyear investigation, designed to discover unlawful cannabis cultivations in San Bernardino County, Calif., has had tremendous success over the last two months. During the last eight weeks, officials have served 183 search warrants and have made 238 arrests. Deputies have also seized the following items: "186,916 plants, 38,911 pounds of already processed marijuana, 8 grams of concentrated cannabis, 8 grams of methamphetamine, 57 guns, $563,449 in illicit narcotic sales proceeds, and eradicated and taken down 1,022 greenhouses, 5 locations with illegal electrical bypasses, and 2 THC extraction labs," the release states. Read more Cannabis Business Times Operation Hammer Strike coverage here: Week one Week two and three Week four, five and six The fate of 23 pre-approved companies seeking five medical cannabis dispensary licenses in Rhode Island will be in the hands of a blindfolded former FBI agent on Oct. 29. Russell Griffiths, an economic and policy analyst with the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation, will have his eyes covered when he picks five numbered balls from a transparent tumbler borrowed from Twin River Casino at 10 a.m. Friday, according to the department’s Office of Cannabis Regulation (OCR). A livestream of the lottery will be available via Zoom. The licensing lottery was originally scheduled for early August but was delayed after one of four rejected applicants brought forth an administrative appeal. Overall, the state received 45 applications from 28 companies in December. Four companies did not qualify for the lottery. Instead of further delay, OCR is moving forward with 23 pre-approved companies that have submitted 37 applications for the right to open a dispensary in five zones across the state. A lottery to select a dispensary for a sixth zone in the Newport area will not be held because of the administrative appeal, The Associated Press reported. The luck of the draw for the 23 companies participating in this week’s lottery ranges from two to 11 applications in the five zones. Zone 3’s license, for instance, will be awarded to either Green Wave CC Inc. or Rhode Island Compassion Center Inc., while 11 companies are in the running for Zone 4’s license. One ball will be randomly picked from each zone. Rhode Island currently has three licensed medical cannabis dispensaries, including the Thomas C. Slater Compassion Center in Providence, the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Portsmouth and the Summit Medical Compassion Center in Warwick. The New York State Department of Labor (NYSDL) recently issued guidance prohibiting New York employers from drug screening most workers for cannabis. The guidance states that the use of cannabis is legal under the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA), which was signed into law by former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo in March. Under the NYSDL guidance, "employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees based on the employee's use of cannabis outside of the workplace, outside of work hours, and without the use of the employer's equipment or property.” However, employers can still ban the use of cannabis during "work hours" or the possession of the substance at work. Marissa Mastroianni, an attorney from the Cannabis Law Group at Cole Schotz, told Cannabis Business Times and Cannabis Dispensary that the NYSDL’s guidance is "precedent-setting." "This is really the first state to ban altogether testing for cannabis use unless in very limited circumstances," Mastroianni said. "This is definitely big news for any employer that has employees in New York state because you don't just have to be a New York employer to be covered by this." The new law applies to anyone employed in the state of New York. Whether someone is an out-of-state employer that has an office in New York, or if they have remote workers in the state, they must comply with the new guidance, she said. However, the law does not apply to a select group of people, which are listed in the guidance as follows: "An employer is exempted from this prohibition of testing for cannabis use if it would require them to violate an affirmative federal law that says employees in this category need to be tested for cannabis use," Mastroianni said. "So, for example, that's people with a commercial driver's license. They are governed by the Department of Transportation regulations, which explicitly [requires] testing for cannabis use. So, the employers are explicitly exempted from all this." However, just because the federal law requires that a specific group of employees be tested for cannabis, employers are not allowed just to go ahead and test the employees under the guidance.  "There has to be an affirmative duty on the employer's end to test under federal law for them to be included in the exemption," she added. Aside from this, employers are also permitted to drug screen their workers for cannabis under these specific reasons: The employer would lose a federal contract or federal funding; The employee shows symptoms of cannabis impairment while working that decreases or lessens their performance to complete duties or tasks or interferes with the employer's obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace as required by state and federal workplace safety laws. "So, just smelling as though you may have just used cannabis is not enough [for employers to conduct a drug screening] because the smell alone doesn't indicate that you can't do your job, you can't perform your duties, or that you are impinging upon a safe and healthy workplace," Mastroianni said. "So, what I would suggest to employers, is that anyone who is tasked with the workplace safety policy and enforcement of that policy definitely needs to get trained on how to detect what real-time cannabis intoxication looks like, other than the stereotypical smell and red eyes." Mastroianni said this guidance will be difficult for employers genuinely concerned about cannabis usage amongst their employees and suggests they immediately stop testing for cannabis to become familiar with the guidance unless they are within one of the exceptions. "Even before this was issued, a lot of New York decided to stop testing for cannabis altogether when cannabis was legalized recreationally. So, some employers quite frankly don't care anymore because it is a legal substance now in New York," she said. "But the employers that are not as progressive in that sense definitely need to be aware of this." Mastroianni said it's uncertain whether other states will follow suit but said it's likely as New York is typically a trendsetter for employment laws and regulations. "There's going to be a wait-and-see approach to see how this all works out in New York," she said. "New York is a trendsetter, in a lot of different respects, that's for sure. So, I guess it remains to be seen whether it's going to be trend-setting on this front as well." You never know what’s waiting around the corner for your in the cannabis business. Just a few weeks ago, at Cannabis Conference 2021, Dr. Sue Sisley provided a riveting keynote speech about her success in suing the DEA and the DOJ—eliminating the 52-year-old government-enforced research monopoly and eventually acquiring a Schedule I research license to cultivate cannabis flower for FDA-approved clinical trials. She was off to the races.  “Then I had this revelation, I said, ‘Oh my goodness, I'm selling weed to the DEA!’” she said at the show. “This is so historic!”  Then, earlier this week, Bank of America closed the Scottsdale Research Institute’s accounts—essentially shutting down her work.  Now, it remains to be seen how this fallout transforms Sisley’s goals. We’ll be following along. But it just goes to show that banking challenges abound, and potentially upending disasters lurk around this industry. Let us know: What’s the biggest challenge your team is facing right now?  We’ve rounded up some of the key cannabis headlines from the week right here. And elsewhere on the web, here are the stories we’ve been reading this week:
芝加哥--(商业网)--新闻稿--克雷斯科实验室,一个纵向一体化的多州运营商和品牌大麻产品批发商,今天宣布其“社会正义之夏”全国倡议,为关注社会正义的社区组织筹集了25万多美元,并支持1000多名有大麻相关犯罪记录的人的除名过程。 今年6月,“迈克尔·汤普森的判决”的预告片发布了,这是克雷斯科实验室“社会正义之夏”倡议的一部纪录片短片。影片将于2022年上映。 6月19日--禁毒战争50周年--发起的“社会正义之夏”倡议得到了克雷斯科实验室、其Sunnyside零售品牌及其旗舰大麻品牌克雷斯科的支持。该倡议包括支持社区清除活动和了解你的权利讲习班、一部关于禁毒战争对迈克尔·汤普森判刑的影响的纪录片短片以及该公司及其第三方供应商的财政捐助。该倡议还帮助扩大了正在进行的恢复性司法、社区企业孵化器以及由Cresco实验室的SEED(社会公平和教育发展)倡议推动的教育和劳动力发展方案。 克雷斯科实验室首席执行官查理·巴赫特尔说:“通过我们的‘社会正义之夏’倡议,我们申明将社会公平作为公司核心价值观的承诺。”“随着美国采取行动将大麻合法化,大麻行业继续增长,企业利用其平台和资源帮助恢复社区,并为受禁毒战争影响的BIPOC人民及其家人创造机会至关重要。我们感谢我们的合作伙伴、客户和员工的热情,他们为建设和提升我们运营的社区提供了他们的声音、时间、专业知识和资金。克雷斯科实验室致力于继续采取行动,如“社会正义之夏”,这将有助于大麻行业继续发展成为一个负责任和受人尊敬的行业。“ 克雷斯科实验室种子执行副总裁奇马·埃尼亚(Chima Enyia)补充说:“很荣幸领导一项全国性的清除倡议,支持恢复1000多人的权利和代理,并与整个组织的每个业务部门合作,部署有意义的方案,提高对社会公平的广泛认识,并让我们的客户和合作伙伴采取行动。全国仍有4万多人因大麻指控被监禁,对这些人、他们的家人和社区来说,禁毒战争仍在继续。随着我们首次“社会正义之夏”倡议的结束,我们将继续展示我们对历史上边缘化的人、企业和社区的承诺和责任,并鼓励我们的同行和客户继续支持以社会正义为重点的社区组织。“ “社会正义之夏”倡议 圣贝纳迪诺县的“锤子打击行动”再次爆发,执法部门在调查的第七周和第八周没收了6万多株非法大麻植物。 根据圣贝纳迪诺县治安部门(SBSD)总部的一份新闻稿,在10月11日至17日的第七周,圣贝纳迪诺县治安部门大麻执法小组(MET)和其他代表在收到关于这些地区非法室外和室内大麻种植的“大量投诉”后,对圣贝纳迪诺县九个城市的不同地点发出了23份搜查令。 新闻稿称,治安官人员逮捕了15名嫌疑人,根除了159个温室、1个四氢大麻酚提取实验室和3个电气旁路。调查人员还缴获了“20031株大麻、3596磅加工大麻、3支枪、8克浓缩大麻和8.9克甲基苯丙胺。” 根据SBSD总部的一份新闻稿,在10月18日至24日进行的第八周行动中,共发出了23份搜查令。 执法人员逮捕了38名嫌疑人,并清算了160个温室和6个室内种植设施。 根据新闻稿,调查人员还发现了4万多株非法大麻植物、5000多磅加工大麻、近12万美元现金和7支枪。 旨在发现加州圣贝纳迪诺县非法大麻种植的多年调查在过去两个月取得了巨大成功。 在过去的八周里,官员们发出了183份搜查令,逮捕了238人。代表们还缴获了以下物品:“186916株植物、38911磅已经加工的大麻、8克浓缩大麻、8克甲基苯丙胺、57支枪、563449美元的非法麻醉品销售收入,并根除和拆除了1022个温室、5个非法电气旁路的地点和2个四氢大麻酚提取实验室,”新闻稿称。 请在此阅读更多大麻商业时报锤子行动报道: 第一周 第二周和第三周 第四、五、六周 10月29日,罗德岛州23家寻求五个医用大麻药房许可证的预先批准公司的命运将掌握在一名蒙着眼睛的前联邦调查局特工手中。 罗德岛州商业监管部的经济和政策分析师拉塞尔·格里菲思(Russell Griffiths)表示,周五上午10点,当他从双胞胎河赌场借来的透明不倒翁中挑选五个编号的球时,他会蒙上眼睛。彩票的直播将通过Zoom提供。 许可证抽签原定于8月初举行,但在四名被拒绝的申请人中的一名提出行政上诉后,抽签被推迟。总的来说,该州在12月份收到了来自28家公司的45份申请。四家公司没有资格参加抽签。 OCR没有进一步拖延,而是与23家预先批准的公司一起前进,这些公司已经提交了37份申请,要求在全州五个地区开设药房。据美联社报道,由于行政上诉,为新港地区第六区选择药房的抽签将不会举行。 参与本周抽奖的23家公司的抽奖运气从五个区的2到11个申请不等。例如,第三区的许可证将授予绿波CC公司或罗德岛同情中心公司,而11家公司正在争夺第四区的许可证。每个区域将随机挑选一个球。 罗德岛州目前有三个特许医用大麻药房,包括普罗维登斯的托马斯·C·斯莱特同情中心、朴茨茅斯的绿叶同情中心和沃里克的顶峰医疗同情中心。 纽约州劳工部(NYSDL)最近发布了指导意见,禁止纽约雇主对大多数工人进行大麻药物筛查。 该指南指出,根据《大麻监管和税收法案》(MRTA)的规定,大麻的使用是合法的,该法案于3月份由前纽约州州长安德鲁·科莫签署成为法律。 根据NYSDL的指导,“禁止雇主基于雇员在工作场所以外、工作时间以外以及不使用雇主设备或财产使用大麻而歧视雇员。”然而,雇主仍然可以禁止在“工作时间”使用大麻或在工作中拥有大麻。 科尔·肖茨(Cole Schotz)大麻法律小组的律师玛丽莎·马斯特罗安尼(Marissa Mastroianni)告诉《大麻商业时报》和《大麻药房》,NYSDL的指导是“开创先例的”。 “这真的是第一个完全禁止大麻使用测试的州,除非在非常有限的情况下,”马斯特罗安尼说。“对于任何在纽约州有员工的雇主来说,这绝对是一个大新闻,因为你不仅仅必须是纽约雇主才能被覆盖。” 新法律适用于在纽约州工作的任何人。她说,无论某人是在纽约有办公室的州外雇主,还是如果他们在该州有远程员工,他们都必须遵守新的指导方针。 然而,该法不适用于指导中列出的特定人群,具体如下: Mastroianni说:“如果雇主要求他们违反一项肯定的联邦法律,该法律规定这类员工需要接受大麻使用测试,他们就可以免受大麻使用测试的禁令。”“所以,例如,那是有商业驾照的人。他们受交通部法规的管辖,该法规明确要求对大麻使用进行测试。所以,雇主被明确免除了这一切。” 然而,仅仅因为联邦法律要求对特定群体的员工进行大麻检测,雇主就不允许在指导下对员工进行检测。 她补充说:“根据联邦法律,雇主必须有肯定的义务测试他们是否被纳入豁免。” 除此之外,雇主还可以根据以下具体原因对其工人进行大麻药物筛查:雇主将失去联邦合同或联邦资金;雇员在工作时表现出大麻损伤症状,这降低或减少了他们完成职责或任务的表现,或干扰了雇主按照州和联邦工作场所安全法的要求提供安全和健康工作场所的义务。 Mastroianni说:“因此,仅仅闻到你可能刚刚使用了大麻的气味是不够的(雇主进行药物筛查),因为气味本身并不表明你不能做你的工作,你不能履行你的职责,或者你正在影响一个安全健康的工作场所。”“因此,我向雇主建议的是,任何负责工作场所安全政策和执行该政策的人肯定需要接受培训,了解如何检测实时大麻中毒,而不是刻板印象中的气味和红眼睛。” Mastroianni说,对于真正关心员工大麻使用的雇主来说,这一指导将是困难的,并建议他们立即停止大麻测试,以熟悉这一指导,除非他们属于例外情况之一。 “甚至在这一点发布之前,当大麻在娱乐活动中合法化时,纽约的许多人决定完全停止大麻测试。因此,坦率地说,一些雇主不再关心,因为它现在在纽约是一种合法物质,”她说。“但在这个意义上不那么进步的雇主肯定需要意识到这一点。” Mastroianni说,不确定其他州是否会效仿,但他说,这很可能,因为纽约通常是就业法律和法规的引领者。 “将会有一种观望的方式,看看这一切在纽约如何解决,”她说。“纽约是一个潮流引领者,在许多不同的方面,这是肯定的。所以,我想它是否也会在这方面引领潮流还有待观察。” 你永远不知道什么在拐角处等着你做大麻生意。就在几周前,在2021年大麻会议上,苏·西斯利博士发表了一篇引人入胜的主旨演讲,讲述了她在起诉药品管理局和DOJ方面的成功--消除了52年来政府强制实施的研究垄断,并最终获得了一份附表1研究许可证,为美国食品和药物管理局批准的临床试验种植大麻花。她去参加比赛了。 “然后我有了这个启示,我说,'哦,我的天哪,我在卖大麻给药品管理局!‘”她在节目中说。“这太有历史意义了!” 然后,本周早些时候,美国银行关闭了斯科茨代尔研究所的账户--基本上关闭了她的工作。 现在,这种余波如何改变西斯利的目标还有待观察。我们会跟着的。但这恰恰表明,银行业的挑战比比皆是,潜在的颠覆性灾难潜伏在这个行业周围。 让我们知道:你的团队现在面临的最大挑战是什么? 我们在这里收集了本周的一些关键大麻头条新闻。 在网络的其他地方,以下是我们本周读到的故事: